The Best Work From Home Essentials in 2021
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Working from home has become the norm for many people this year — meetings are held over Zoom, professional and personal lives have meshed, and office equipment has overtaken the house. Whether the experience is new for you or you’ve been working remotely for some time now, setting up the right environment at home is crucial for your productivity and comfort, among other things. Aside from the standard desk and chair, you might want to invest in a few other essentials, some of which you probably never even thought of. We’ve categorized and listed must-have items to improve your work-from-home experience, be it blue light blocking glasses to help with eye strain or snake plants to keep the air in your home fresh and clean, so you’ll never miss the days of working in an office building!
Best for Productivity Boost
The Deets: $99.99 at Best Buy
One of the common issues people experience when working in front of a computer is developing eye strain. For some, it can turn into a headache and interfere with your productivity. The GUNNAR Haus Computer Glasses from Best Buy alleviates the fatigue and blocks harmful blue light and 100% UV light. The modern yet simple design suits most face shapes while also bringing comfort to your eyes, nose, and ears. Even if you have 20/20 vision, wearing blue light blocking glasses while you work can help with the eye strain and workflow.
The Deets: $81 at Macy's
Standing desks are the popular alternative to traditional ones because you don’t have to sit in a chair all day. Whether you’re restless or work better when you can change positions, the Mind Reader Over the Bed Rolling Desk from Macy's is not only adjustable but can fit over the arm of a couch, armchair, or bed, making it a great fit for work or eating lunch on. The casters have locking levers so the desk won’t run away from you. The rolling desk doesn’t have to be your permanent one — it can be the alternative when you want to get away from the chair or work in other areas of your home for a change of scenery.
The Deets: $99.99 at Macy's
You won’t be able to work without a proper desk lamp, especially if you’re a night owl. The Adesso Chelsea Desk Lamp with USB Port from Macy's has an industrial design to complement your electronic devices while providing sufficient lighting to get your work done. It has a simple on and off switch along with a USB port to charge your smartphone or other devices. The conical shape keeps the light focused on your desk and whatever it is you’re working on, whether that’s your computer or a book. Increase your work output with ample lighting but don’t pull all-nighters to meet deadlines!
The Deets: $129.99 at HP
Printers are a must even when you’re working from home. If you’re constantly printing out important documents for physical records or to read from, then it’s best to invest in your own printer rather than visiting a store that has print services. The HP ENVY 6055 All-In-One Printer prints, scans, and copies anything from photos to pages-long tax documents. Download the HP Smart app and connect the printer so you can print your items even when you’re not home. The workflow doesn’t stop even when you’re on-the-go.
The Deets: $35 at HP
Whether you have a HP EliteBook or ZBook that you use when you’re not at your desk, you may have realized that there aren’t enough USB ports for your chargers, a mouse, and keyboard. If that’s the case, then the HP USB-C to USB-A Hub lets you organize all your USB accessories while optimizing the amount that you can use to get the most out of your tablet or notebook. Working at home doesn’t always mean working in front of a computer — with a portable device, it’s possible to be as productive with the help of the USB hub. Make sure to check which devices are compatible!
Best for Mental and Physical Health
The Deets: $19.99 at Kirkland's
Freshen up your home with the Airway Fan Essential Oil Diffuser and Oil Set from Kirkland’s and breathe in the aromatic scents to soothe any built-up tension. When you have a million things running through your head, sometimes you need to empty it all out and reconnect with yourself — the way you do in yoga. Essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and affect the amygdala, which is where all your emotions are stored. As you’re working, add a few drops of the oils to the diffuser and turn it on. Then, let your mind relax and stow away the stress and anxiety.
The Deets: $25.83 at Lowe's
When working from home, the line between work and personal life is blurred. Sometimes you need to step away from the computer and practice self-care, which may or may not include taking care of houseplants. The Black Coral Snake Plant in Plastic Pot from Lowe's makes for a great addition to your workspace or home because it cleans the air by absorbing excess carbon monoxide. When you filter out the toxins in the air, you also keep them from entering your body. Luckily, the snake plant is pretty easy to take care of and can be grown outdoors too. When things are out of your control at work, you can certainly control your self-care time and how you take care of houseplants!
The Deets: $20.89 at VitaCost
Keeping up with your physical health when you work from home is just as important as taking care of your mental health. With the VitaCost Synergy MEGA EFA, you get the omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs, especially when you don’t have a proper diet. Skipping meals because you’re wrapped up in work is unhealthy and the omega-3 shouldn’t be a meal replacement. Instead, it should supplement your diet and keep you on the healthy track. Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain a healthy mind, improve moods, and reduce joint pain.
Best for Comfort
The Deets: $94.94 at Home Depot
Give your office space a modern look with the nuLOOM Blythe Modern Moroccan Trellis Gray 5 ft. x 8 ft. Area Rug from Home Depot. Adding the rug not only gives the room more personality but also cushions your feet whether you’re barefoot or wearing socks. The large size also means you can settle your feet on the entire room instead of one spot! Let’s be honest: no one wears shoes when they’re at home, so you’re most likely going to want to keep your feet warm and cozy while you work.
The Deets: $429.99 $325.99 at Best Buy
A must-have office equipment is an ergonomic chair that addresses comfort and productivity. The Office Star Products Ergonomic Chair with Double Air Grid Back and Mesh Seat from Best Buy has a slew of features such as pneumatic height control, adjustable tilt tension control, a built-in lumbar support, and more. Not only will you feel comfortable as you’re working but you’ll also develop good posture, which heightens motivation and productivity. While the ergonomic chair isn’t the cheapest, its durability more than makes up for the high price tag.
The Deets: $12.28 at Home Depot
You click your mouse as often as you type on your keyboard, and with the repetitive motion comes the carpal tunnel syndrome. If you experience carpal tunnel frequently, then the Ergodyne ProFlex 4020 Medium Right Gray Lightweight Wrist Support from Home Depot helps alleviate the symptoms. The wrist support has an open center, which reduces pressure on the median nerve. It’s also lightweight and comfortable, so much so that you might forget that you’re even wearing it! Instead of buying a wrist support to place on your desk, why not wear one instead for convenience?
Best for Decluttering and Organizing
The Deets: $18.99 at FedEx Office
When at home, keep track of meetings, deadlines, and important phone calls the traditional way with FedEx Office’s Custom Calendars. You get to pick your design and photos for each month, as well as add text or marking important dates without scribbling it down. Once you’re done, FedEx will work on getting your calendar printed and sent to you. These calendars are for hanging up on the wall, so you can quickly glance at it instead of opening up the calendar app on your phone.
The Deets: $0.82 - $1.52 at Paper Mart
If you’re obsessed with stationery, whether it’s paper clips, stickers, or sticky notes, you’re probably wondering how to organize them so your desk isn’t cluttered. The Rectangular Tin Cans from Paper Mart are great for storing small stationery items, and because they’re made out of tin, it’ll blend in with your office equipment. Or, if you prefer, you can decorate them with stickers. It’s easy to get distracted or feel like your mind is all over the place when your work space is a mess. Even if it’s the little things, putting them away can do wonders for your mentality.
The Deets: $8.98 at Sam's Club
One of the best ways to declutter your workspace at home is to throw out unnecessary things like junk mail and old notes. The Boardwalk Soft-Sided Plastic Wastebasket from Sam's Club is simple but holds a good amount of useless items like crinkled up paper, pens, and empty chip bags. Even if you work in the living room, it’s best to have a wastebasket nearby so you don’t disrupt your workflow by going to the kitchen to throw away your trash.
The Deets: $17.80 at Walmart
All your important documents deserve a home, and the Mind Reader 3-Tier Mesh Desk File Organizer Tray with 5 Compartments from Walmart is the perfect place for them. Organizing physical items improves your mentality, as it de-stresses you and gives you more clarity. From legal documents to contracts, keep physical copies within reach but also in an organized space. With a whopping five compartments, you have opportunities to fill them up with other office accessories or supplies.
The Deets: $29.99 at Office Depot OfficeMax
Not much of a drawer person? The We R Memory Keepers 3-Tier Steel Rolling Storage Cart from Office Depot OfficeMax is the storage alternative that’s also portable. It’s durable and supports up to 30 pounds, which means you can put your cans of pens, books, and other office supplies on the cart. Because of the tier design, the cart doesn’t take up too much space and you can easily reach for the items you need if you place it near your desk. If you feel like working in another room at home but want to bring along the cart, you totally can — just roll with it!
Best for Broadband, Software, & Security
The Deets: Price varies based on contract length and number of devices at Bitdefender
As you work from your computer, you might encounter cyber threats. Even if you use your company’s VPN, there’s still a slight chance that a hacker can access your private data. With Bitdefender Total Security, you don’t have to worry about malicious ads or viruses attacking your computer — the software detects threats such as malware and offers its own VPN for up to five devices. If you’re worried about VPNs slowing down your computer, Bitdefender’s software doesn’t hinder your devices’ performance. Work without clicking out of pop-up ads and feel reassured that sensitive information won’t leak.
The Deets: $45/month per line plus taxes and fees at Verizon Wireless
If you don’t have internet service at home, then using a mobile hotspot is a great alternative. Verizon Wireless’s Do More Unlimited Plan is for all the productive workers who not only need unlimited talk, text, and data but also 15GB of 5G/4G LTE network. As one of the fastest networks, Verizon Wireless won’t skimp on data speeds for all your important phone calls and Wi-Fi usage. What’s more, you get 600GB of cloud storage which is perfect for saving important files on your mobile device. Last of all, you get Disney+ and Apple Music free for six months when you sign up!
The Deets: $45/month plus taxes at AT&T
Fast and reliable internet is a must when you’re working from home, especially if you want to hold a Zoom meeting without it freezing every few seconds. That’s why the AT&T Fiber - Internet 100 Plan does a whole lot more than just faster speeds for work. The plan is equipped with 100 Mbps download and upload speeds and can upload 10 photos in less than nine seconds! Unlimited data is also included, so you won’t have to encounter data caps and overage fees. If you sign up online, AT&T will give you a $100 reward card. Switching over to fiber means experiencing internet speeds that are 10 times faster than cable internet.
The Deets: $35/month at QuickBooks
Now more than ever, account management is important as you invest in your work from home essentials. This is true for small businesses who had to move from physical to digital. To keep track of all your invoices, expenses, and receipts, the QuickBooks Plus Plan lets you manage everything for up to five users. Don’t forget that anything you buy for your office at home counts toward your tax deductions — the plan will help you keep track and stay organized. Working from home has more benefits, including savings, than you’d expect!